Abandoned buildings provide the best inspirations for haunted stories. Even in a tiny but highly urbanised country like Singapore, you will be surprised that there are many abandoned and empty buildings around.
Over the years, as the histories of these buildings were forgotten, haunted stories took over. It is up to each individual to believe if the stories are real or just myths.
(The listing of the ten places is not in any order)
The three famous coloured houses in Singapore are the Red, White and Green House.
1. The Red House is situated in Pasir Ris, where many chalet-goers love to explore the place for thrills.
Most Famous Ghost Story: There was a rocking armchair with a doll sitting on it in the house, and a pair of stone lions stared at whoever attempted to sneak into the compound.
Current Condition: Remains abandoned and empty.
2. White House refers to Punggol’s Matilda House (although some refers to the Old Changi Hospital). It was built by Joseph Cashin in 1902 and was abandoned in the seventies.
Most Famous Ghost Story: Evil spirits had since occupied the empty house and would kill anyone who attempted to enter.
Current Condition: It is fenced up and equipped with CCTVs. New blocks of flats are built around it, and it will be turned into a clubhouse soon.
3. Hillview Mansion, located at a top of Hillview Hill, is also known as the Green House (some refers it as the Blue House).
Most Famous Ghost Story: Previous owner’s family was killed in a fire, and renovations were never quite completed because of the evil spirits lingering in the house.
Current Condition: The private mansion was demolished in 2004, leaving nothing behind except an old gate and a pile of rocks.
There is another coloured house located at Kampong Glam, though not associated with any haunting, that is known as the Yellow House (or Mansion) or Gedung Kuning. It was a former Malay palace and was built in the 1860s. The house changed hands several times, from Tengku Mahmoud (grandson of the 18th Sultan of Johor) to Haji Yusoff Haji Mohamed Noor (Malay entrepreneur and philanthropist) to finally the Singapore Government in 1999. It is now a conserved building, and is operated as a Malay restaurant.
4. Old Changi Hospital is perhaps the favourite place in Singapore for daring ghost-seeking youngsters. Built in 1935 as a British military hospital, it was occupied by the Japanese forces in WWII. The hospital was officially closed in 1997, as the patients were moved to the new Changi General Hospital.
Most Famous Ghost Story: Screams and shadows could be seen and heard at some of the wards, which were rumoured to be used as torture chambers by the Japanese.
Current Condition: Remains abandoned and empty.
5. View Road Hospital was a little known mental hospital located in Admiralty. A subsidiary of Woodbridge Hospital, it was opened in 1975 and closed in 2001.
Most famous Ghost Story: The mental patients, when alive, were trapped in the hospital. Their spirits, likewise, were unable to escape from the building.
Current Condition: Has been converted into a foreign workers’ dormitory called View Road Lodge.
6. Neo Tiew Estate looks like a normal HDB neighbourhood except it is empty and deserted. The flats were built in 1979 and en-bloc in 2002.
Most Famous Ghost Story: Haunted by vengeful banana tree spirits, resulting in the flats being abandoned.
Current Condition: Used by the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) in conducting urban warfare trainings.
7. Many Singaporeans completed their Basic Military Training (BMT) in Nee Soon Camp, an extremely old camp where its history goes all the way back to pre-WWII.
Most Famous Ghost Story: Prowling soldiers were frightened by mysterious eerie sounds as they walked past the Nee Soon Camp White House after midnight.
Current Condition: Occupied by the SAF Band.
8. Also a BMT camp, Pulau Tekong is perhaps famous for its tough trainings and ghost stories. It is rumoured (turned out to be false) that trainings are banned on Thursday nights due to the lurking of evil spirits.
Most Famous Ghost Story: The spirit of a dead recruit from Charlie Company, who died during a route march, was trapped in the bunk. An additional door had to be created to free the ghost.
Another popular one is the sightings of an old man and his young grandson who visit the bunks in the middle of the nights. The two phantoms spot those recruits who pretend to be asleep but are still awake.
Current Condition: The camp has gone through rapid modernisation in recent years.
9. Changi Commando Barracks used to house 15,400 British and Australian soldiers during WWII. It was taken over by the SAF after independence and was used as the headquarters for commandos from the seventies to eighties.
Most Famous Ghost Story: Haunted by the ghosts of the WWII Prisoners-of-war (POWs) who died of torture and starvation.
Current Condition: Remains abandoned but may be converted into a clubhouse by the Fairy Point Hotel which is currently being developed nearby.
10. Bukit Brown, or commonly known as Kopi Sua (Coffee Hill) is a Chinese burial place that was opened in 1922. It was named after George Henry Brown, the first owner of the land. It was nearly cleared for development in the seventies.
Most Famous Ghost Story: Reported sightings of pontianaks hiding in the trees, and their evil laughs broke the silence of the cemetery at nights.
Current Condition: Deserted except during Qing Ming Festival. A stretch will be cleared for a new dual four-lane road by 2013.
Further Read: Singapore’s Most Enduring Ghost Stories
Published: 11 May 2011
Updated: 22 October 2012